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Bill Wolf

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  • Tesla: Profit Point [View article]
    Also remember that they have stated many times some of the R&D costs will partly move to the COGS line since they are shipping product to the end customer. OPEX will likely come down a smidge vs previous run rate given this fact. Happens all the time for Intel as they bring new geometries online. (just about every other year in fact.) Materials, labor to run equipment for prototypes, and new equipment Depreciation is expensed as R&D until they ship to customers and then put through COGS.
    Sep 12 11:54 AM | 1 Like Like |Link to Comment
  • Attractively Priced, Despite Margin Pressure [View article]
    Just compare Ctrp and LONG revenues. Ctrp 6x the size of LONG which is controlled by EXPE. LONG a nuisance but not a long term threat to CTRP.

    Around the world each geography has 1 winner that accrues a majority of profits from the online travel business. EXPE in US, PCLN in Europe and CTRP in china. Margins are down temporarily while they solidify lead. At this price, don't be surprised to see BIDU, taobao or PCLN make a run at CTRP. BIDU said on call they want to expand via acquisitions in adjacent verticals.
    Long CTRP since $16.
    Jul 27 11:34 AM | 1 Like Like |Link to Comment
  • The Federal Government's Support Of Education And For Profits - Shorts Barking Up The Wrong Tree [View article]
    Comparing statistics on education between the population served by these schools and students at Ohio State where parents pick up part of the bill is laughable. Look at some community colleges with similar demographics and you will see similar results. Comparing apples to oranges is silly.
    May 15 01:54 PM | 1 Like Like |Link to Comment
  • What Jim Chanos Is Missing On Coinstar [View article]
    Most people actually don't like stealing. And, the mainstream populace isn't going to get that involved in downloading 1TB files on a weekly basis. Will it happen on the fringe. Of course. Enough to kill the business off? Focusing on the wrong thing...
    Apr 12 04:01 PM | 1 Like Like |Link to Comment
  • Coinstar's Redbox Margin Tailwinds Are Blowing Hard: Point To Nearly $6 EPS In 2012 [View article]
    caz12, thanks for reading. if you read through the other comments and my replies you will see most, if not all, of your issues addressed. Make sure you don't extrapolate your own, likely higher income, situation to others.
    Feb 21 11:03 AM | 1 Like Like |Link to Comment
  • Coinstar's Redbox Margin Tailwinds Are Blowing Hard: Point To Nearly $6 EPS In 2012 [View article]
    Introspection, to reply to this statement, "Keep in mind that streaming hasn't been made available to the masses 4-5 years ago, and arguably has not been made available to the masses now, but could it accelerate and trump the kiosk demand in the near future?"
    see below.

    According to this article, broadband penetration has reached 78% of households in the US. That means there were basically ~ 85mm broadband subscriptions and 110mm households. Obviously, this can go up but looking at the tables, all of the countries that are significantly higher in % penetration >90% are extremely small countries with high GDP/Capita. Norway, Hong Kong, Singapore, Bahrain, etc.
    So, maybe the pool of potential Netflix subscribers has actually been introduced to streaming more than is evident.
    Also given the economic environment and ubiquity of smart phones, I wouldn't be surprised to see a lot of people bypass cable modems and DSL and satisfy their browsing needs through their phone, especially as LTE rolls out. Probably not going to happen for readers of seeking alpha, but I could see it limiting broadband penetration in lower income households.
    Thanks for your comments because they are factors for this stock.
    Feb 16 08:03 AM | 1 Like Like |Link to Comment
  • Coinstar's Redbox Margin Tailwinds Are Blowing Hard: Point To Nearly $6 EPS In 2012 [View article]
    Introspection, great questions.
    Remember, there is a seemingly slight, but actually massive difference, vs. Netflix. Netflix had to license bleeding edge content for streaming without the "first sale doctrine" (coinstar can always buy the discs from retail or distributor) which limits what one has to pay on the physical side. So, Netflix had to pay up because there was no substitute good. Verizon/Redbox are using the physical kiosks for new releases and providing library material for streaming. Verizon contributed much of this library to the JV. Therefore, don't expect mega deals from the JV to be announced with the studio. They are licensing old stuff and Verizon already has most of the agreements. Here is what management said about the financial aspects of the JV at the Pac Crest conference yesterday:

    "Saul M. Gates
    Sure. From a CapEx side, we achieved our goal, which was we've got a partner whose got a big stake and already has a big access to content. So as you look at this we laid out what the contractual terms are and a lot of people have looked at that and said, holy cow that's a big number that you guys are on the hook for. But you got to realize that's not what our business plans say, that's simply what the contract says and we put the terms in there to help prevent us from being diluted in case something happened. So we got the safeguards and the rails that we wanted to protect us. We've got the right split and we've got the right partner who's already bringing a lot of the content to the table. So when we look at it, we expect the ongoing cash flows of the JV to be able to fund a lot of that once it gets out of the start-up phase. In the start-up phase before we're actually selling to customers, before we've got subscribers signed up, we're going to have to fund that but that's just the front-end piece.
    Andy Hargreaves
    So the expectation is for it to be cash flow neutral or above that fairly quickly?
    Saul M. Gates
    Absolutely, yeah."

    Don't think of the JV as Netflix, think of it as new release nights at kiosks with a long tail of movies provided by streaming to provide more selection to Redbox customers. (should drive more volume to kiosks helping the cover the fixed costs more quicly = higher profits per kiosk).

    Finally, on the demise of physical DVDs, don't forget that CSTR rented out 21% more physical DVDs in Q4 2011 vs Q4 2010. That doesn't seem like a business that is dying anytime soon.

    2. Management estimates there are 60,000 kiosk locations available in the US. They have 35K, will buy 10K from NCR, add 5K new kiosks this year and so will be at 50K at the end of the year. That gives them 2 more years of 10% growth in units. But as they reach saturation watch for them to go international, including Canada (this year) and Europe. They said yesterday, "So we'll work with them (NCR) on new kiosk technology. Also, we can leverage their organization to open doors outside of the U.S. because they have a terrific international footprint as we think about expanding." NCR wants to sell them physical kiosks, so expect this to bear some fruit. Europe is much different than Canada, obviously, so I would discount that growth opportunity at this point. Don't forget that for awhile they will also get comp growth as well as the current population of kiosks age. This will push up margins as well. Finally, they are pushing hard on new concepts and believe that the coffee and photo booth concepts are going to reach high return hurdle rates. They will put in 650 kiosks this year. Watch for that concept to fuel growth in the future.
    Feb 16 07:47 AM | 1 Like Like |Link to Comment
  • Why Bridgepoint May Soon Have A 5% Yield ... And That's Before The Special Dividend [View article]
    Sets the table to sell if need be but sets no requirement for them to sell. They have shown no inclination to sell anywhere near this price... Remember filing was issued when stock was $30. Don't think they sold any shares at $30 either, so unlikely to sell at $20. Being short to play the overhang at this valuation seems dangerous.

    From the S3
    "The selling stockholder has informed us that, as of the date of this prospectus, it does not have any written or oral agreement or understanding, directly or indirectly, with any person to distribute the common stock... The selling stockholder may decide not to sell any shares of common stock."
    Dec 17 02:52 PM | 1 Like Like |Link to Comment
  • Is DeVry the Next Private Equity Target? [View article]
    Note that Carlyle has a relationship with Apollo Group (APOL), in that Carlyle is invested in Apollo Global, a JV between the PE fund and the education giant that does investments in education related entities outside the US...
    Jul 16 02:40 PM | 1 Like Like |Link to Comment
  • Short Credit Acceptance: Approaching A Negative Inflection Point [View article]
    Very good article!
    May 21 10:09 AM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • OpenTable's Growth Hitting A Wall With New Restaurants Of Lower Quality [View article]
    Zorba, this new article answers your first question and shows how their $$ restaurants are categorically inferior in terms of economics to OPEN.
    Jan 26 09:25 AM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • OpenTable's Growth Hitting A Wall With New Restaurants Of Lower Quality [View article]
    Fellas, if you think seated diners is vastly outstripping restaurants and will in the future, why is revenue per restaurant stagnant and seated diners per restaurant decelerating rapidly?
    Jan 25 11:54 AM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • OpenTable's Growth Hitting A Wall With New Restaurants Of Lower Quality [View article]
    Thanks for comment.
    Its a saturation multiple, not relevant to today. It is when they have 28,000 restaurants vs. 19,000 today. Do you think they are growing seated diners 26% when they have 28,000 restaurants?
    Jan 24 02:11 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Attractively Priced, Despite Margin Pressure [View article]
    Congrats, that was a great trade.
    Jul 28 01:01 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Attractively Priced, Despite Margin Pressure [View article]
    Lemme guess, you were shorting EXPE at $13 in march 09 on slowdown and margin fears?
    Jul 27 12:23 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment